Scientists have discovered the world’s largest bacterium in the Caribbean mangrove swamps.
Jean-Marie Voland says that the thin white filament, which is about the same size as human eyelashes, is “by far the largest bacterium known to date.” Marine biologist Co-author of a paper published in the journal on Thursday at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Chemistry..
Olivier Gross, co-author and biologist at the University of the West Indies and Giana, has discovered the first example of this bacterium clinging to the sunken mangrove leaves of the Guadeloupe Islands. 2009.
But he didn’t immediately know that it was a bacterium because of its surprisingly large size. These bacteria average one-third inches (0.9 centimeters) long.Only later Genetic analysis It was revealed that the organism is a single bacterial cell.
“This is a surprising discovery,” said Petra Levin, a microbiologist at Washington University in St. Louis who was not involved in the study. “It raises the question of how many of these giant bacteria are, and reminds us that bacteria should never be underestimated.”
Gross also discovered that bacteria were attached Oyster shellSwamp rocks and glass bottles.
Scientists have not yet been able to grow it in laboratory cultures, but researchers say the cells have a structure that is unusual for bacteria. One important difference: it has a large central compartment, or vacuole, which allows some cellular function to occur within it. Controlled environment Not the entire cell.
“The acquisition of this large central vacuole will definitely help the cells avoid physical restrictions … about cell size,” said a biologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, who was not involved in the study. , Manuel Campos said.
Researchers said they didn’t know why the bacteria were so big, but co-author Volant hypothesized that they might be an adaptation to prevent them from being eaten by small organisms.
Jean-Marie Volland et al, a 1-centimeter-long bacterium containing DNA contained in metabolically active membrane-bound organelles, Chemistry (2022). DOI: 10.1126 / science.abb3634
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https://phys.org/news/2022-06-world-biggest-bacterium-caribbean-mangrove.html The world’s largest bacterium found in Caribbean mangrove swamps